"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A trial looking at cisplatin, gemcitabine and sunitinib for advanced transitional cell cancer of the urinary system (SUCCINCT)
This trial looked at a drug called sunitinib alongside chemotherapy for transitional cell cancer. It was for people whose cancer had grown into surrounding tissue (is
Transitional cells (also called urothelial cells) are a part of the urinary system. The urinary system filters waste products from the blood and makes urine. Transitional cells line the centre of each kidney (renal pelvis), the bladder and the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters). So you can get transitional cell cancer in the kidney, bladder or ureters.
More about this trial
If transitional cell cancer is locally advanced or has spread to another part of your body, you may have chemotherapy. Doctors can treat transitional cell cancer with a combination of 2 chemotherapy drugs called cisplatin and gemcitabine. It is known as GC chemotherapy. But researchers want to improve treatment for this group of people. In this trial they looked at having a drug called sunitinib alongside GC chemotherapy.
The aims of the trial were to
- Find out if this combination of drugs helps people with transitional cell cancer of the urinary system
- Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that adding sunitinib to cisplation and gemcitabine wasn’t a useful treatment and caused a lot of side effects.
63 people took part in the trial. Everyone taking part had cisplatin, gemcitabine and sunitinib.
6 months after treatment finished the trial team looked to see whose cancer had come back. They had results for 58 people. They found the cancer
- Had come back in 28 people
- Hadn’t come back in 30 people
They also looked at the average overall time people lived for after treatment. They found that this was about a year.
The main side effect was a drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bleeding problems, tiredness and breathlessness. In some people these side effects took a long time to get better. This resulted in most people having their treatment reduced or stopped.
The trial team concluded that having sunitinb alongside GC chemotherapy wasn’t a useful treatment for transitional cell cancer of the urinary system that had spread. And it caused too many side effects. Based on this, they do not recommend this combination is looked at in future trials for this type of cancer.
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Dr Thomas Geldart
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Wales Cancer Trials Unit
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/044.